Tom O’Neill


Since starting with Xyst, I have worked alongside council to fill the role of Parks, Facilities and Customer Service Officer. This role manages the day-to-day operations of the council’s cemeteries, parks, pools, halls and associated community services. I’m also involved in planning and auditing these services to ensure their quality is maintained.

Where possible, I like to work on the ground, building strong relationships with co-workers, contractors and stakeholders. This approach streamlines our activities and makes use of our collective knowledge.

You can contact me for help with

My expertise

I entered the recreation and community services space with my first job as a lifeguard for a council. After seeing a natural progression in the sector, I decided to pursue a Bachelors in Sports and Recreation Management, Majoring in Marketing at Lincoln University.

During my studies, I became more immersed in aquatics, dealing with facility operations, learn to swim, plant, merchandising and programmes. This progression spanned four councils and gave me valuable experience in leadership and change management.


  • Master of Business (Maj. In Management), University of Canterbury
  • Bachelor of Sport and Recreation Management (Maj. In Marketing), Lincoln University
  • National Certificate in Recreation and Sport, Level 3
  • Quantified Tree Risk Assessment System – Registered User

Xyst in action

I have recently started doing project-based work with Xyst’s senior consultants. One of these projects has included putting together a reserve management plan for Lake Ruataniwha. We began the project by engaging key stakeholders and visitors to the lake, gaining their perspectives on key areas within the reserve and potential areas for development.

We will then take this plan to the public for consultation before gaining submissions. An extensive range of users has made this process more complex, involving the local Iwi, rowers, tourism, families, boaters and passive users of the lake. Once complete, this plan will guide future council activity, producing benefits to the community in a more efficient manner.


Service Delivery

From procuring and managing contractors to the practical implementation of strategic work, we can help you to deliver services efficiently

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Along with Yardstick, our international benchmarking program for local government, if you need research to make good decisions, we can get it for you

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Play Spaces

From redevelopments to new builds, our children need safe, fun play spaces to get them outside for fresh air and exercise

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From design and planning to maintenance, we can help to ensure people have a great experience when they enjoy your campgrounds and facilities

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Asset Management

Having accurate information about assets allows you to make practical, workable decisions about maintaining and developing community spaces

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My Projects

Wilding Pine Removals

The Mackenzie District Council engaged Xyst to assist with the removal of 60 hectares of wilding conifers (Contorta and Corsican) in a block visible from

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Lake Tekapo Wild Fire Mitigation

Consultants from Xyst, engaged by the Mackenzie District Council, received a report from Fire & Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) identifying Lake Tekapo’s vulnerabilities to wildfire.

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Fairlie Ashes Circle

The team at Xyst were engaged by the Mackenzie District Council to spearhead the development of the Fairlie Cemetery Ashes Circle. The project started with

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Signage Suite & Procurement

The Mackenzie District Council initiated a Brand Guide (2020) to establish consistency in the Council’s visual representation. Subsequently, Xyst conducted an audit of Council signs

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Parks & Facilities Management

Xyst was brought on board after a thorough risk and performance evaluation of the Mackenzie District Council’s parks and community facilities operations. Xyst was then

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Fairlie Dog Park

The Mackenzie District Council engaged Xyst to develop a dog park for the Fairlie Community and the region’s visitors. Xyst started by identifying the project’s

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